The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

Card Gallery

Last Updated 03 June 2021 – new top section

Welcome to our Card Gallery, and many thanks to everyone who has helped work on our captioning system. It may take a while before every card in the gallery follows this system but if you can help to update any please let us know at We think that the information given should allow you to find any of these cards and sets in any catalogue, auction or dealer, and order the right cards without error. But if you need any additional information do contact us, and we will try and help you out.


Here is how these captions work

  • The first section, a code of letters and numbers, is the basic cataloguing system we use in all our Reference Books – any extra letters or numbers after the above six digits, for example 1a.b on the Batman card, are additional information to help track down a set of which there is more than one printing. In this case the “1” refers to the version of the set which has front captions in black – the “a.” means the front is matt (rather than “b.” varnished) – and the “b.” means the backs on this version are pink with a large full length Batman figure to the right (rather than “a.” backs, which have a panel with information on joining the fan club, and a small Batman figure hugging the top left hand corner of that panel)
  • [tobacco : UK] – or – [trade : UK] really tells you which section of a card dealer catalogue it will appear, as they usually split the listings into sections, either “tobacco” cards which were issued with tobacco or cigarettes, or “trade” cards issued with any other product. Also this tells you that it was issued in the UK. If an item had primarily been issued overseas these initials would have been OS not UK, and the country code would follow the issuer’s name in brackets – this is because some dealers split tobacco into home issues (UK) and overseas issues.
  • The first words after this bracketed code, in this case Abdulla & Co. Ltd. – or – A & B. C. Gum, are the issuer’s names
  • That is followed by the name of the set, in this case “Feathered Friends” – or – “Batman” and you can tell that both these appear on the cards, because if it did not the title would be followed by (A) which means “adopted title”, in other words a title given by cartophilists past to an untitled set at the time when it was first recorded or first issued.
  • A four number code in brackets – in these cases (1935) and (1966) – is the year of issue. If we know it, we will add the month !
  • And finally the last numbers show the number on the card, followed by a diagonal line to distance it from the total number of cards in that set. There are four other possible codes – Un/ which means the cards are not numbered, and Bk/ which means the cards are backlisted, in other words the names of all the cards in that set are printed in a list on the back of every card. The other code refers to the total number in the set, which you will sometimes find followed by ?? – this means that we are not totally sure how many cards are in that set yet, and there may well be more that await discovery. So if you have cards from such a set, please contact us, and we will happily see if yours are so far unrecorded.

In the case of American and Continental trade cards, which either have no reference numbers, or, in the case of Liebig, as shown here, are prefaced with “S” for Sanguinetti, which puts them in the wrong order. However we think we have solved this by reversing the starting order – so for instance this card is :
Liebig Meat Extract Co. Ltd : S628 [trade : OS] “Postage Stamps III” (1900) Un/6

It is also perhaps worth noting that we have not yet added sizes in the captioning codes above. But we will add a note if a card is other than standard size, simply because the images in our gallery are not to scale.

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